Competitive Shooting vs. Defensive Shooting

A good article at Tactical Life on Competition Shooting and how it can help or hinder in the tactical environment. Some big names and great shooters here. A very balanced set of perspectives.

10 Experts: Can Competitive Shooting Help Real World Defensive Shooting?

And a hearty shout out to  Gabe White, one of the experts featured here. He has a knack for organizing the thought processes and training applications in cross-pollinating these two worlds.

Our team competes every training day. Winners are tabulated and Champions chosen at the the end of the year, receiving trophies and a name plate marking their achievement for all to see in the years to come.

To be sure there is some gaming  of the competitions. Gaming is roundly shamed and called out for what it is. Most of the competitions are pure shooting, but some drills include tactical skills or physical skills in conjunction with shooting.

There is another element added to it within team culture, and that is you are competing against, being judged by, and assessed by men whom you may be going through a door with and who may very much depend on you for their life one day. This can be very demanding psychologically for its not just shooting that is judged. Competitive performance may not even be the most important element of the competition.

It’s not the be-all and end-all, and it is recognized as such and kept in its proper place. Some newer members can be expert shooters but not yet have the tactical acumen to be “trusted” as would another, perhaps not as expert but proven tactically over many years. But other than highly dynamic tactical force on force decision drills with Simunition (also done every set of training days), there is nothing else that places you under the time pressures that this kind of competition instills.

The point is made in the article that such training will hone your reloads, weapon manipulations, transitions (if you have both long gun and hand gun), and positional shooting – and I would emphasize in your carry gear – like nothing else. While clearly distinct from tactical skills and seasoned decision making,  when the two come together in what is really a perfect storm, the more you have worked your weapons under pressure the freer you are to observe, orient, decide, and act.

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